I loved you, and I probably still do,
And for awhile the feeling may remain;
But let my love no longer trouble you,
I do not wish to cause you any pain.
I loved you; and the hopelessness I knew,
The jealousy, the shyness -- though in vain --
Made up a love so tender and so true
As may God grant you to be loved again.
Pushkin's Confession* to Alina Osipova
I love you -- though I storm and stress,
Though vain this toil and melancholy,
And to this shameful, hapless folly
Here at your feet I will confess!
It ill-becomes me; I get older...
Time, time to be more sensible!
And yet I know the love-disorder
By all the symptoms in my soul:
I'm bored without you -- I keep yawning;
I'm sad with you -- I suffer through,
And barely hold myself from owning,
My angel, how I care for you!
When in the parlor your light footfall
Or dress's rustle reaches me,
Or voice so innocent, so youthful,
I lose my senses suddenly.
You smile at me -- I'm glad, immensely;
You turn aside -- I'm sad again;
Your pallid hand may recompense me
For the whole day of utter pain.
When you embroider diligently,
Bent over casually, though gently,
Eyes, ringlets down -- I am beguiled;
In silence, tenderly, intently
I watch, admire you like a child.
But then how wretched my existence,
How desolate my jealous pain,
When you set out into the distance
(At times despite the cold and rain);
And then your solitary grieving,
And, in a corner, twosome talks,
And twosome piano of an evening,
And twosome trips, and twosome walks...
Alina! have a little mercy.
I wouldn't dare to ask for love:
Perhaps, for sins I'm guilty of,
My angel, I'm of love unworthy...
But feign it! All can be achieved
By that expressive gaze, believe me!
Ah, it's so easy to deceive me!..
I'm glad myself to be deceived!
*In Russian, the word for "declaration" (of love)
also means "confession".
More Pushkin Poems
All poems translated by Genia Gurarie
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